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Why Great Content Shouldn’t Just Live on Your Blog

18 September 2013 BY

Dear reader, I have an axe to grind, a soapbox to leap upon, I’ve got a tiger by the tail.

What’s my beef?

Many companies spend a huge amount of time and resource creating wonderful content to engage, inspire and delight their web visitors. Trouble is, most of it lives on their blog or a resource section of their site.

This sort of content is of course important – in order to rank you do need content which attracts links and social shares. But it’s by no means the only sort of content you should be investing in.

You need different types of content for different purposes - we talk a lot about content for links and social shares in the industry, however I fear we’re in danger of ignoring the other types of content, and they are equally important.

Today, I’ll be taking a look at some of those content types and sharing some great examples:

Content to build trust

Why do you need content to build trust? People don’t buy from companies they don’t trust.

Below are some of the sorts of pages which help build trust:

About Pages

Your about page should tell your company’s story. It should explain why you exist, what makes you tick and so on.

Innocent do this really well:

Innocent's About Page

 

They explain plainly and simply what it is they do – “help people to do themselves some good”; “make natural, delicious, healthy foods that help people live well and die old”. They also explain how they got started.

There’s also a timeline:

Innocent Timeline

Additionally they link to further information about sustainability, and there’s a page about their relationship with their (potentially controversial investor) Coca Cola.

As a consumer reading these pages on the site I get a clear idea of what the company is about, what they’re trying to achieve and they seem warm, open and friendly. These pages make me like the brand even more than I did before.

Meet the team pages

Here I like to see people’s faces and I also like to see a little personality. I love what Etch have done:

Andy Shield  Managing Director   Etch

Content to move people from ‘interest’ to ‘purchase’

Product Pages

Product pages are the pages primarily responsible for driving a consumer to actually purchase something; and yet, all too often their content is bland. Or lacking in relevant detail. It fails to persuade. Sometimes it appears not even to have been written by a native speaker of whichever location the content is targeting.

Wish are the perfect antidote to such drudgery – take a look at their View from the Shard experience:

The View from The Shard   Wish.co.uk

 Here you have storytelling, plus a healthy dose of wit:
“And on a clear day, you can see up to 40 miles in every direction. As well as local landmarks such as St Paul’s, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, you can witness the outer reaches of Balham, Braintree and Tring (if you’re lucky).

Telescopes are provided on certain floors so you can have a right good ogle.

And we recommend an evening visit to experience a glorious London sunset, plus the added bonus of seeing drunk city workers trying to find Liverpool Street station, while eating an ill thought out Subway sandwich.”

FAQ Pages

I’ve previously devoted an entire post to asking if your FAQ pages are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory so I don’t want to dig too deep here. However Bandcamp remain awesome at this, check out this from their FAQs:

How do I make the embedded player autostart?

Welcome home! We trust your 8 year expedition to the heart of the Amazon was a great success. SO much has happened since you left. The first Delawarean was elected Vice President of the United States, the Chronicles of Riddick defied box office expectations, and tabbed browsers became commonplace. As a result, many web enthusiasts now open tabs as they surf. Autostarting media players don’t play well with this behavior, since they put you in a position of wondering whoah, where is that sound coming from and then force you to play find-the-tab-making-your-eardrums-bleed. AUTOSTART IS EVIL is a fairly common refrain nowadays, and who are we to disagree?

This makes me love Bandcamp so much I’m thinking of starting a band just so I can make use of their service.

Content to recruit employees

The content that you have on your site can also affect the people you attract to come and work for you. I’m guessing you do want the best employees, right? Not the just the dross that no one else wants.

Culture Pages

People need to understand your company’s culture in order to figure out if your company would be a good place for them to work. This really ought to go without saying, but just in case – you do know you can’t just make this stuff up, right? You actually have to have a company culture in order to have a company culture page. Oh and your company culture page needs to accurately reflect the culture in your company.

Moz do a great job of this:

Moz Jobs   Discover Your Next Career   Moz

Job Ads

Are your job ads creative? Do they really reflect who you are and who you want to employ?

Rather than write a traditional job ad, The Onion released fartscroll to attract a Front End Developer – pretty smart, huh?

fartscroll.js   Everyone farts. And now your web pages can too.

And so dear readers, over to you – got any examples of great content which sits somewhere other than on a blog or resource section? Know of a company who’s creating killer content for their product pages?

Do let me know via the comments :)

AUTHORED BY:
h

Hannah Smith is an SEO Consultant working for Distilled in their London office. She manages technical, link building and content campaigns for clients across a range verticals in addition to managing one of the internal SEO teams at Distilled.
  • http://semzoom.com/ Baadier Sydow

    Really insightful post with issues that many take for granted. It can be challenging to get your culture through on your about page but building that connection with potentials is an important part of the journey together.

    Many of the clients I have chatted to along with other entrepreneurially(is that a word?) inclined friends often have not thought of the overall culture of their business along with what they’re trying to achieve beyond making money.

    The Moz vision of TAGFEE is my go to for how to bring your vision/ideology to the fore.

    Great post!

    • Hannah Smith

      Thanks Baadier :)

      Totally agree that communicating culture can be a challenge (both internally and externally) – but when done well, it’s an excellent route to recruiting the type of talent you want and need for your company.

      • http://semzoom.com/ Baadier Sydow

        And ensuring that the hires will be a good fit your culture.

  • Alan Charnock

    I know the site is new, but clicking on images 404s, just a heads up.

    • Bas van den Beld

      Thanks Alan, on it!

  • http://www.sunweb.nl/ Sabine de Vos

    There are also plenty of sites communicating tech jobs through source code and robots.txt. view-source:http://www.booking.com/ for instance.

    • Hannah Smith

      Love that example Sabine :)

  • http://www.tone.co.uk/ Will O’Hara

    The Wish site is a great example of great product pages – the new Firebox site does this exceptionally well too. However, in the vast majority of cases ecommerce site owners aren’t selling anything half as exciting as a trip up the Shard or a Psychedelic Cat Sweater (no, really – it exists http://www.firebox.com/product/6046/Psychedelic-Cat-Sweater). They’re selling things like 5 metres of black tubing or a 6 pack of white sheets. A greater challenge I think you’ll agree, but if you actually have something really interesting to sell there’s no excuse not to look at the likes of Wish and Firebox and try to replicate their success. For the record, I’m not saying you can’t make more mundane product pages ‘rich’ or interesting (list all benefits, specifications & sizes, multiple images, testimonials/reviews – and video if possible) – but it’s always easier to attract interest and attention to the cool stuff :) Plus it’s easier to get the client excited about improving these pages…great first post Hannah!

    • Hannah Smith

      Hey Will,

      Like you I think even more ‘mundane’ product pages should be genuinely rich and useful – Appliances Online (http://ao.com/) do a great job of their product pages – despite having arguably less exciting products.

      Thanks for your comment :)

      Hannah

  • Jonathan Hatton

    Hi Hannah,

    Great article, a lot of people neglect ‘about us’ pages. But as we have seen with innocent this can attract links which will build up overall domain authority!

    • Hannah Smith

      Definitely. But remember, it’s not *just* about links. Being a brand people trust is arguably more important :)

      • Jonathan Hatton

        Yes but I would be biased towards links being and SEO guy haha :) But I see your point Hannah!

  • http://www.coindesk.com/ Keith Horwood

    Innocent style ‘twee-ness’ needs to end, right? Often copied these days, but not really bettered. Good article in shortlist I think this week about that type of slightly-irritating copy becoming the norm.

    • http://www.sunweb.nl/ Sabine de Vos

      Gods, I agree, it’s a tone of voice that doesn’t suit many companies. Especially those roundups of sassy and hilarious webcare (taco bell, old spice etc). Try doing that when you’re a bank.

  • http://www.brosix.com/ Brosix

    I love all the examples! I think layout goes a long way too, not just the words.

  • http://inoperanteonline.com Inoperante

    And so we created About Us and FAQ pages, purely off the back of this article. Thanks. :)